Today we’re going to work through the third part of your business plan, the Market and Marketing. In case you missed the first two sections, they are here and here.
When it comes to your business, how do you plan on getting the word out to potential customers? What kinds of customers are you hoping to attract? And, are there other competitors in your niche that you need to keep an eye on? Your Market and Marketing section will help you answer all of these questions.
The first step of pinpointing your market is to develop a customer avatar. This profile is comprised of the ideal customer you’d like to target and it’s important to go as deep as possible here. Are they male or female? How old are they? Where do they live? Where do they like to shop? What is their average income? What brands do they like? What else are they interested in? This avatar will keep you on track when it comes to having a consistent voice and image when marketing your offerings.
Once you’ve determined your ideal customer, it’s time to figure out your sales strategy. How do you plan on reaching your ideal customer? Do you have a mailing list? A blog? An online shop? A brick and mortar store? Print collateral? Do you plan on attending specific industry events? Have you outlined a social media strategy? Think about how your ideal customer likes to be communicated to and where they tend to hang out, both online and off. Hitting these target-rich environments in a smart, focused way can really pay off.
Next, do you have a pricing plan? Think about where your product fits into people’s lives compared to your competitors. Do you have multiple offerings that cover different tiers from affordable all the way up to aspirational? Why or why not?
Finally, include profiles of your competitors. Who are they, who are they trying to reach and what are they charging? What are the strengths and weaknesses that you’re up against? By outlining your competition, there will be less surprises since you know what you’re up against.
Now your business plan is halfway done! Next week, we’ll be covering the Operations.
Business Plan Basics is a six part series that makes developing a business plan a painless process.